The world has changed, and government needs to change with it. Given the rapid adoption of digital technology by the public, the past’s processes and procedures no longer fit. For example, rather than taking 14 business days to receive a mailed letter, citizens expect immediate responses via email or web portal, even for critical and personal information.
In many states, the EDD, DMV, DHS, and other agencies have gone digital in response to citizen’s requests for expedited services. The digital transition has, in turn, reduced the cost and time of processing requests. For example, Arizona, along with 12 other states, has created digital driver’s licenses for their motorists, allowing them to seamlessly handle most of their interactions with the DMV and other agencies. For example, a digital ID can be used in place of physical IDs in airports, increasing the convenience, privacy, and speed of verification. These are the transitions that citizens expect government agencies to adopt to make interactions more convenient.
Updating old digital systems can also help alleviate fraud and backlogs. In California, the existing EDD system was insufficient to manage the seven-fold increase in claims, leading to a backlog high of 1.5 million claims. Nor could it detect the rise in fraud by introducing the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA), which led to an estimated $11 Billion in improper payouts. By reviewing the issues in both processes and management, overhauling the existing EDD system, and implementing ID.me, California was able to quickly clear the claim backlog and start cracking down on fraud.
Many government agencies still rely on phone calls and “snail” mail to communicate with citizens, but this can delay communication for days or weeks. Phone calls rely heavily on staff availability and require extensive documentation, limiting the number of citizens that served per day. SMS messaging using iConstituent’s Smart Text can accelerate communication by ensuring rapid one-on-one engagement. Using clever scripting, up to 85% of responses can be managed autonomously, minimizing staff time collecting data from respondents. Clients get answers to their questions in minutes, not days, while staff burden is reduced. The Kentucky Board of Labor is using iConstituent for just this reason to overcome issues managing unemployment claims.
Reviewing your systems and processes with the idea of serving your customers is one way to help identify what part of your processes can benefit from revision. Many methods that were state-of-the-art only 20 years ago can benefit from updates. Being proactive about reviews and updates can help your organization avoid critical issues during a surge in demand. If you are ready to take your agency to the next level, contact iConstituent today.